Clermont Elementary School was established in 1968. Construction of our school began in December 1967 and was not completed in time for the opening of schools the following September, so for the first three months of the school year Clermont’s students were housed at Bush Hill Elementary School. Clermont officially opened its doors to students on December 2, 1968, following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Our first principal was Peter M. Manno.
Did you know that Clermont Elementary School opened during the first year that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) began offering kindergarten in all schools?
Clermont Elementary School class photograph from the year of our founding. Principal Manno is pictured in the top row on the far right.
Fewer Students, Fewer Schools
During the 1970s, enrollment at Clermont peaked at a high of 394 students in 1975 and gradually declined to a low of 252 students by 1979.
Declining enrollment was not unique to Clermont. Schools throughout eastern Fairfax County experienced similar challenges at this time because there were fewer families with young children living in the area.
Pictured above is an afternoon kindergarten class picture from the 1975-76 school year. Prior to the implementation of full-day kindergarten county-wide in the 2000s, kindergarten students attended school half of the day in either a morning or afternoon grouping. Enrollment continued to decline at Clermont until 1980, when the closure of Wilton Woods Elementary School boosted the enrollment at Clermont to approximately 400 students.
The above photograph of students creating sidewalk art was taken in 1981.
This portrait of Clermont's SCA Officers appeared in our 1981-82 yearbook.
Additions and Renovations
In 1981, Fairfax County voters approved school bond funding to renovate and build an addition to Clermont Elementary School. The renovation project began construction in the spring of 1983 and was completed at a cost of $732,400. Prior to this time, physical education classes were held in a two-classroom wing on the north side of our building. During the renovation, the gymnasium was attached to this wing and the P.E. classroom was converted into a music room.
Pictured above is Clermont Elementary School in 1990. The gymnasium (highlighted in blue) was attached to an existing two-classroom wing of the building (highlighted in red). These two classrooms were used at various times for kindergarten, physical education, and music. Courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority.
It’s hard to imagine today, but Clermont Elementary School did not have a gymnasium from 1968 to 1984. Did you know that prior to 1990, Clermont Elementary School did not have air conditioning? On warm days, teachers would open their classroom windows to allow the air to circulate. Although it did not happen very often, there were days in the warmer months that FCPS closed schools due to excessive heat.
In the summer of 2013, construction began on a two-year, $13.6 million renovation of Clermont Elementary School. Follow the progress of the construction in this series of photographs.
In the News
In 1982, the Washington Post published an article entitled No More Dull Essays – These Kids Are Writing Books! The article highlighted a revamped reading and writing program at Clermont that encouraged students to write, illustrate, and bind their own books. The completed books were placed in an area called the “Young Author’s Corner,” and students were encouraged to read their peers’ work.
The Washington Post, January 28, 1982
What’s in a Name?
Have you ever wondered how Clermont Elementary School got its name? Find out in this video produced for the Fairfax County Public Schools cable television channel Red Apple 21.
Our Golden Anniversary
In 2018, Clermont students, staff, and families, past and present, celebrated our school’s 50th anniversary. Take a moment to watch this video slideshow created by John Eisinger for the 50th anniversary celebration.
Thirteen principals have led Clermont Elementary School since our founding in 1968. We are still looking for a picture of our second principal, Regis R. Lacey (1974–77).